The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


By leaps and bounds

Future leaders learn healthy habits can begin at seminary

At 6 a.m. on a Friday, a dozen students and pastors leap and bound down a long seminary hallway. As the sweaty group travels, their mix of groans, laughter and encouragement rise and fall in intensity. The encouragement comes from Ingrid Roeder, who helps the community at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago maintain or improve its health and wellness.

In the early morning, students at the
In the early morning, students at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago leap down a seminary hallway, part of a plyometrics exercise.
“It’s a fellowship in pain,” Roeder said with a mock grimace. With a laugh, student Angela Nelson added, “Especially when we see each other limping across campus. ... But seriously, it makes a big difference to have the accountability.”

Sarah Semmler Smith called it community-building. “I wouldn’t get up and do this if it wasn’t for Ingrid,” she said, half-joking. “On a student budget, we can’t afford [fitness] classes. It’s nice that we have this free.”

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